Student Learning

The University provides the opportunity for transformative student learning through outstanding teaching and research, enriched educational experiences, and rewarding campus life.

Learn as if you were to live forever.
Mahatma Gandhi

University Centre building at UBCO building and UBC researchers and students
The heart of The University of British Columbia lies in its people—students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community—and our outstanding learning environment is the outcome of our relationships with one another.

Learning takes place within the social and emotional context of each student’s life. Applying new research on education, UBC revolutionizes teaching practices in the classroom and expands learning opportunities outside of it: through community service learning, research and co-op experiences, internships and mentorships, international opportunities, and participation in a rewarding campus life.

Through rigorous study within and across disciplines, students acquire the knowledge, inquiry and communication skills, professional abilities, and understanding of other cultures that enhance their personal development and enable them to contribute and lead in a global society.

Transformative learning inspires students to flourish in their studies and stay connected with UBC as alumni. Together, faculty, staff, and students share the responsibility for bringing learning to life.

Goal Enhance the quality and impact of teaching for all students

Portfolio Action

Review and revise curricula and pedagogy to ensure that they are informed by leading edge research on how people learn

  • Actively engage in curricula renewal to provide an effective and efficient student learning environment, supporting Faculties with the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology  (VPA, DVC, Provost Okanagan)
  • Build a more effective English language pathways program for incoming international students (VPA, DVC)
  • Support graduate student success by launching the Life Cycle Management project (VPA, DVC, Provost, Okanagan)
  • Review the structural organization of learning support systems at the Okanagan campus (DVC, Provost)
  • Support student Senators and faculties as they focus on changing curricula, policy and pedagogy to support student well-being (VPS)

Simplify and streamline program requirements and course prerequisites whenever possible to enhance flexibility and self-directed learning

  • As part of the curriculum re-design process, Faculties review program requirements and course pre-requisites to ensure greatest flexibility to students while maintaining the integrity of academic programs (VPA, DVC)
  • Continue to enhance the operation of the Learning Management System (VPA)

Support the development and delivery of blended undergraduate courses through the Flexible Learning initiative

  • Implement blended transformation of high impact undergraduate courses (flipped classrooms, integration of open content).  Ensure the availability of appropriate technology and physical infrastructure (VPA, VPFRO, Provost Okanagan)
  • Continue to deliver Massively Open On-line Courses as an experiential tool and as a means to increase access (VPA)
  • Improve structural flexibility in degree/program design through the VPS Student Engagement in Flexible Learning Projects (VPS, VPA)

Improve feedback mechanisms on teaching and learning through peer reviews and teaching evaluations

  • Expand the number of academic units using evidence based peer review processes with support from the Centres  for Teaching, Learning (and Technology) (VPA, Provost Okanagan)

Further align the University feedback metrics, rewards and recognition systems with student learning goals

  • Continue the Okanagan Provost Award for Teaching Excellence and Provost Award for Teaching Assistants and Tutors (DVC)
  • Encourage and facilitate nomination of faculty members for national and international teaching awards (VPA, DVC, VPRI)

Develop and implement benchmarks and key metrics related to the enhancement of teaching and learning, and as part of the periodic academic reviews

  • Refocus Planning and Institutional Research (PAIR), to provide support for Faculties and units in academic planning and evaluation (VPA, Provost Okanagan)
  • Implement revised guidelines for Conducting External Academic Reviews at UBC Vancouver and support faculties with the provision of appropriate metrics and data (VPA)
  • Provide data collected through integrated assessment program and consultation to faculties and units to assess progress and refine metrics on key aspects of student learnings and the overall student experience (VPS, VPA)

Develop a long term shared and sustainable vision for the Okanagan campus

  • Complete the campus academic visioning program as a foundation for academic and campus master plan exercises (DVC)
  • Ensure all Faculties (Okanagan) develop robust, financially sustainable academic plans in alignment with institutional vision and values (DVC, Provost Okanagan)
  • Complete the academic strategic planning process at the Okanagan campus (DVC, Provost Okanagan)
  • Create a flexible continuum of lifelong learning between credit and non-credit offerings at the Okanagan campus; review opportunities and develop  a strategic path to operationalize, with a priority on summer use of campus (DVC)

Goal Strengthen efforts to promote student success

Portfolio Action

Implement a Student Experiences Framework

  • Consult on, refine, and implement the Student Experience Framework in partnership at UBC (VPS)
  • Lead consultation program and processes to support tuition, program, and administrative planning (VPS)
  • Create an integrated assessment program for student experience to inform strategic and operational planning (VPS)

Develop and implement initiatives that support student engagement and achievement

  • Third year of the Jump Start pilot to focus on sustainability of desired outcomes (VPS)
  • Improve career development and service provision for graduate students, working in partnership with academic departments (VPS, Provost Okanagan)
  • Provide an intellectual and social environment that enhances the quality of graduate education (VPS, Provost Okanagan)
  • Launch Vantage College with a first entry cohort in September 2014; build curriculum to expand to Faculties beyond Arts and Science (VPA)
  • Establish Orientations Steering Committee to further develop, improve and oversee student orientations activities across campuses (VPS)
  • Implement recommendations from the Task Force on Gendered Violence and Aboriginal Stereotypes (VPS, VPA)
  • Support academic departments in the adoption of content and communication strategy through (VPS)
  • Build appropriate infrastructure ranging from student housing, academic space and teaching labs (VPA, VPFRO, Provost Okanagan)
  • Use Vantage College as a Living Laboratory for innovative practices from recruitment and admission to teaching and experiential learning (VPA)
  • Continue integration of the Okanagan campus’ English language Program with Vantage College; increase English language supports at the Vancouver campus (Provost Okanagan, VPA)

Build and support a community of practice for advisors

  • Focus on student recruitment and admission using Broad Based Admissions and the student-centred service model (VPA, VPS, Provost Okanagan)
  • Expand the Vancouver campus international student transition program to provide a full year of academic support for new ISI students and measure the impact over the next 3 years (VPS)
  • Review and enhance the current academic support services, including academic language support (VPS, VPA, Provost Okanagan)
  • Improve student advising practices university wide in partnership with academic departments (VPS, VPA, Provost Okanagan)
  • Build a Vancouver campus wide professional development initiative for Student Advisors (VPA, VPS)

Goal Expand educational enrichment opportunities, including research, a first year small class experience, international learning, community service learning, and co-op/practicum/ internship opportunities

Portfolio Action

Provide undergraduate students with opportunities to pursue at least two enriched educational experiences during their course of studies

  • Review all student financial aid and award programs (VPS, VPFRO)
  • Expand upon access to, and delivery and assessment of enriched educational experiences  (VPA, DVC, VPS)
  • Assess impact of enriched educational experiences, and clarify faculty/departmental goals (VPS, VPA)
  • Support the UBCV Senate in creating structures to expand undergraduate research opportunities (VPS, VPA)
  • Identify and coordinate opportunities to embed experiential learning into Flexible Learning transformed courses (VPS, VPA)

Goal Support student well-being, personal development and outstanding campus life

Portfolio Action

Continue the expansion of informal learning space and on-campus work opportunities, and implement Collegia locations for students who commute

  • Implement Phase two of the Collegia pilot for new to UBC students (VPS, VPFRO)
  • Implement year one of the Campus Safety Working Group recommendations (VPS, VPFRO)
  • Deliver UBC student life program through redesign of Old Sub (VPS, VPFRO)
  • Complete the review of Student Services at the Okanagan campus and implement recommended changes (DVC)
  • Create a culture that supports graduate students as full members of the academic community (Okanagan campus, DVC)
  • Develop programming plan for the Old Sub with a commitment to well-being and experiential learning and student services (VPS)
  • Build out a project plan to facilitate an integrated and coordinated design of space and services for students and the UBC community (VPS)

Support student-led initiatives to create a campus culture of involvement

  • Continue First Year Experience Program in the Okanagan and expand on the success of collaborative student projects (DVC)
  • Develop and pilot a Vancouver campus Student Leadership Training Programme for all student led activities (VPS)
  • Launch Vancouver campus animation & public realm programming (VPS, VPFRO)
  • Encourage participation and enhance student leadership in competitive and recreational sports (VPS)
  • Create and facilitate structures for ongoing advising and support for student government organizations (VPS)

Increase support for student health and well-being, with a specific focus on mental health

  • Expand Early Alert program to include student participation (VPS)
  • Support student leaders in assessing the impacts of academic policies and procedures on student mental health and well-being (VPS, VPA)
  • Increase the focus and expand strategy on student well-being (VPS)
  • Complete the healthy campus strategy at the Okanagan Campus (DVC)

Strengthen competitive sport at UBC Vancouver

  • Expand the opportunities for students to compete (VPS)
  • Implement new model for Varsity excellence (VPS)
  • Support engagement in sporting events to enhance campus culture (VPS)
  • Play a leading role in the governance of inter-university sport in Canada at the Varsity level, maximising the national women’s hockey pilot opportunity (VPS)

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